KB184: Mobile Decoder Naming Convention and Decoder Numbers

This article was last updated on May 15, 2013, 4:48 p.m. | Print Article | Leave Feedback

Current production Digitrax decoders use the following numbering system:

The first character means that it is a digital decoder. This is always a “D”.

The second character indicates the decoder’s physical size. This is based on the smallest "scale" the decoder is designed to fit. This will be a Z, N, H, or G.

The third character is the current rating of the decoder. This will be a 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5. We designate 1.25 & 1.5 amp decoders as 1s and 3.5 amp decoders as 3s for simplicity.

The fourth character indicates how many functions, including directional lights, are available on the decoder.  

The fifth character is a Digitrax series designator. This is a number from 0-9.

Series 5 Digitrax Decoders add the ability to add sound to regular mobile decoders with Sound Bug.  Some Series 5 decoders have sockets for simply plugging in the Sound Bug while others require soldering to wire the Sound Bug to the decoder.

Series 4 Digitrax Decoders are sound equipped decoders.  Most are mobile, sound and function decoders, some are sound and function only decoders.

Series 3 Digitrax Decoders have FX3 function outputs, torque compensation, SuperSonic™ drive for quiet operation, scaleable speed stabilization (BEMF) and Transponding™, White or Golden White LEDs on decoders so equipped, operations mode read back capability.

Series 3 Economy Digitrax Decoders have all of the above EXCEPT Scaleable Speed Stablization (BEMF).

Series 2 Digitrax Decoders have FX function outputs, scaleable speed stabilization and Transponding™.

Series 1 Digitrax decoders have standard or configurable strobe function outputs.

Additional letters may be added to the decoder number to indicate which installation interface is used on the decoder. If the decoder number ends after the series number, then it is a wired decoder. The following table shows some of the interfaces currently available on Digitrax decoders.

Designation

Installation Interface

Blank

Wired or Digitrax 9 Pin to Wires

W

Wired

D

Digitrax 9 Pin to Wires

IP

Integrated DCC Medium Plug

P

Digitrax 9 Pin to DCC Medium Plug

Long 3.25” wire harness

PS

Digitrax 9 Pin to DCC Medium Plug

Short 1” wire harness

AT

Digitrax 9 Pin to Athearn No Solder Harness for Standard Athearn Installations

AT

Athearn

K

Kato

A

Atlas

E

E-R Models

LL

Life Like

L

Lionel AC Motors or DC Motors

S

Screw Terminals


Installation interface designations are followed by a design number,
0-9, and sub-design letter, A-Z, when there is more than oneversion of a particular design.

Digitrax Decoder Numbering Examples:

Digital

Decoder

Size

Z-G

Curr

Rate

# of

Func

Ser #

Interface

Design #

Sub-design #

D

H

1

2

1

     

D

H

1

6

3

IP

   

D

N

1

2

1

PS

   

D

N

1

6

3

K

0

A

Numbering Examples:

DH121 is a mobile decoder that fits in HO scale, is rated for at least 1 Amp & has 2 functions available.  This decoder is actually rated at 1.5 Amps. This is a series 1 decoder that has basic features and standard function outputs.

DH163IP is a mobile decoder that fits HO scale, is rated for at least 1 Amp, has 6 functions available and uses the integrated DCC medium plug interface to plug into locos.  This is a Series 3 decoder with FX3 functions, torque compensation, SuperSonic™. operations mode read back and more. 

DN121 is a mobile decoder that fits in N scale, is rated at 1 Amp & has 2 functions available with standard or configurable strobe functions. This decoder has a DCC medium plug with a 1” short wire harness. This is a Series 1 basic decoder.

DN163K0A is a mobile decoder that fits in N scale, is rated at 1 Amp and has 6 functions available with FX3 capabilities. This is a Series 3 decoder with FX3 functions, torque compensation, SuperSonic™. operations mode read back and more.  This decoder is built to fit a Kato locomotive that takes a design 0, sub-design A.

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